Sabadell ‘open to TSB sale’ as Jones joins executive

Gary Jones

Banco Sabadell is open to selling TSB Bank plc at some point, according to the Spanish bank’s CEO Cesar Gonzalez-Bueno, Reuters reported.

The CEO said buying TSB was a strategically bad decision.

Sabadell’s acquisition of TSB in 2015 ran into big problems in 2018 when IT failures led to the booking of accumulated losses of around €500 million over three years.

“If at some point, there is a (potential) buyer interested at a later stage, we are open to it,” said Gonzalez-Bueno during an event in Barcelona.

“Right now we don’t even want to hear about it …

“We are not longer forced to sell,” he said.

Reuters reported that Gonzalez Bueno said previous CEO Jaime Guardiola and current bank chairman Josep Oliu “openly acknowledged” that buying TSB was not a good decision from a strategic point of view.

“Although there was a very thorough analysis, some elements were missing that were not perfect, but apart from that, what has been absolutely critical since then has been the evolution of events, including Brexit and the deep crisis,” Gonzalez-Bueno said.

TSB Bank plc said on February 1 its customer deposits soared 14% to £34.4 billion in 2020 “due to reduced customer spending and growth in business deposits as businesses maintained high levels of liquidity.”

However, TSB made a statutory loss before tax in 2020 of £204.6 million compared to a £46 million profit in 2019 “with financial performance significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.”

Meanwhile, TSB has announced the appointment of customer delivery director Gary Jones to its executive committee.

TSB said Jones joined the bank in 2020 “and has been pivotal in improving the customer experience and evolving the way TSB runs its branches and contact centres to improve their overall customer focus and efficiency.”

TSB CEO Debbie Crosbie said: “Gary has a strong track record and real expertise in improving customer journeys and enhancing service through innovative solutions.

“I’m looking forward to his support on the executive committee as we continue to deliver our growth strategy and transform the TSB customer experience.”

The appointment is subject to regulatory approval.

Jones has over 30 years of experience in financial services with a breadth of expertise managing large scale customer transformation programmes.

Before joining TSB, Jones was customer service director at CYBG / Virgin Money UK for three years.

Prior to this he was at Lloyds Banking Group for eight years and HBOS for 19 years where he held a number of executive roles across strategy, operations, service delivery and business banking.